To climb, or not to climb

A ban on climbing Uluru, the iconic red rock that towers above sandy desert plains in the heart of Central Australia, comes into force in October this year.

The Anangu people, the traditional landowners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, called for the ban because of Uluru’s cultural significance as a sacred place for them. However, tourists can continue to enjoy Uluru while walking, running, or cycling around its base.

Heated debate over the ban abated at the weekend as hundreds of marathon runners, many from overseas, took part in the annual Australian Outback Marathon.

I talked to race director Michael Walton about the marathon, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary at Uluru and asked his views on climbing the iconic rock.